[Spellyans] Phonemic inventory

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Fri Jul 4 09:33:38 IST 2008


In this matter my own speech is irrelevant. I am attempting to  
elucidate how other speakers of revived Cornish speak,
affected as they are by English. They do pronounce ha as [ha] not as  
[h@] and after [T] and other voiceless
consonants the first segment of ha is inaudible.

You would be very hard put to it to say ha after gwe:T, Jon, even with  
stressing of the ha. The h would not be heard.

You say: Actually, I would say [diU gwe:T @ 'mænt at l] if HA is  
unstressed. And I would say [diU gwe:T ha 'mænt at l] if HA is stressed.
And then you say: A problem with inventing examples such as these is  
that one is effectively saying that such-and-such a word is pronounced  
like this because I say so.
True.

We are all guilty of this 'because I say so' attitude —and indeed  
without native speakers we have no choice.
In traditional Cornish ha no doubt had several shapes: [ha, hae, h@,  
a, @].

It still seems to me better (and I am being prescriptive) to assume  
that the vowel in <ha> is /a/ rather than schwa.

Nicholas


On 4 Jul 2008, at 09:10, Jon Mills wrote:

> Nicholas did not demonstrate minimal contrast with all the other  
> vowels of Cornish.
>
> Actually, I would say [diU gwe:T @ 'mænt at l] if HA is unstressed. And  
> I would say [diU gwe:T ha 'mænt at l] if HA is stressed.
>
> A problem with inventing examples such as these is that one is  
> effectively saying that such-and-such a word is pronounced like this  
> because I say so.
>
> Jon
>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Michael Everson" <everson at evertype.com>
>> To: "Standard Cornish discussion list" <spellyans at kernowek.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Phonemic inventory
>> Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2008 08:50:39 +0100
>>
>>
>> At 07:44 +0000 2008-07-04, Jon Mills wrote:
>>> In order to determine whether schwa is a phoneme in Cornish it is
>>> necessary to demonstrate minimal contrast with all the other
>>> vowels. It is often said that schwa is not a phoneme of English
>>> because there is no minimal contrast pairs between [@] and [V] in
>>> unstressed syllables.
>>
>> But Nicholas just did, did he not?
>>
>> [diU gwe:T a 'mænt at l]
>>
>> [In 'gwET@ pre:z]
>>
>>
>> --
>> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
>>
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>>
>
>
>
> _____________________________________
> Dr. Jon Mills,
> School of European Culture and Languages,
> University of Kent
>
>
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